Friday, October 15, 2021

VIDEO: The ILIAD of HOMER: Book Five in Performance (Lattimore translation)

In Book V, an astonishing theophany (or, "Divine appearance") occurs: Athena's visitations to Diomedes prompt him to the wounding of an immortal, the Goddess Aphrodite, as she tries to rescue her own son, Aeneas. Sarpedon, son of Zeus, has what we today call a "Near Death Experience," though the many of the modern NEDs, like this ancient one, include a brief period of being actually dead. Unlike Aeneas, Sarpedon is a son of Zeus himself, and though other Gods rescue their favorites directly, Zeus never personally visits the battlefield. 

So far, Aeneas is the only other hero to be rescued from a death which he has momentarily (but actually) died already. But it took two Gods to do it---Aphrodite (his own Mother), and Apollo the Healer (who sees to his recovery after Aphrodite is wounded by Diomedes). The next time Sarpedon dies, killed by Patroclus in Book XVI, no God prevents or fixes it, because Zeus Himself cannot break Fate, or if he does, the cosmos might become a chaos.

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